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1

What's this Chapter?

Ch.3 - Turn Shit Into Sugar - Opportunism

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What's this Chapter's Judgment?

Every negative situation contains the possibility for something positive, an opportunity. It is how you look at it that matters. Your lack of resources can be an advantage, forcing you to be more inventive with the little that you have. Losing a battle can allow you to frame yourself as the sympathetic underdog. Do not let fears make you wait for a better moment or become conservative. If there are circumstances you cannot control, make the best of them. It is the ultimate alchemy to transform all such negatives into advantages and power.

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The Fearless Approach
What's this chapter's quote by Fifty?

"Every negative is a positive. The bad things that happen to me, i somehow make them good. That means you can't do anything to hurt me." - 50 cent

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The Fearless Approach
Instead of becoming discouraged and depressed by any kind of downturn, how must you be more like Fifty?

You must see this as a wake-up call, a challenge that you will transform into an opportunity for power. Your energy levels rise. You move to the attack, surprising your enemies with boldness. You care less what people think about you and this paradoxically causes them to admire you - the negative publicity is turned around. You do not wait for things to get better - you seize this chance to prove yourself. Mentally framing a negative event as a blessing in disguise makes it easier for you to move forward. It is a kind of mental alchemy, transforming shit into sugar.

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The Fearless Approach
Understand: we live in a society of relative prosperity, but in many ways this turns out to be a detriment to our spirit. We come to feel that we naturally deserve good things, that we have certain privileges due to us. When setbacks occur, it is almost a personal affront or punishment. "How could this have happened?" we ask. We either blame other people or we blame ourselves. In both cases, we lose valuable time and become unnecessarily emotional.
This hustler mind-set is more realistic and effective. What is it?

The truth is that life is by nature harsh and competitive. No matter how much money or resources you have accumulated, someone will try to take them from you, or unexpected changes in the world will push you backward. These are not adverse circumstances but merely life as it is. You have no time to lose to fear and depression, and you do not have the luxury of waiting.

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The Fearless Approach
This is a common occurrence in history: almost all great military and political triumphs are preceded by some kind of crisis. That is because a substantial victory can only come out of a moment of danger and attack. Without these moments, leaders are never challenged, never get to prove themselves. If the path is too smooth, they grow arrogant and make a fatal mistake. What's the lesson?

The fearless types require some kind of adversity against which they can measure themselves. The tenseness of such dark moments brings out their creativity and urgency, making them rise to the occasion and turn the tide of fortune from defeat to a great victory.

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The Fearless Approach
How must you adopt an attitude that is the opposite to how most people think and operate?

When things are going well, that is precisely when you must be concerned and vigilant. You know it will not last and you will not be caught unprepared. When things are going badly, that is when you are the most encouraged and fearless. Finally you have material for a powerful reversal, a chance to prove yourself. It is only out of danger and difficulty that you can rise at all. By simply embracing the moment as something positive and necessary you have already converted it into gold.

8

Keys to Fearlessness
Describe this attitude which we shall call "opportunism".

True opportunists do not require urgent, stressful circumstances to become alert and inventive. They operate this way on a daily basis. They channel their aggressive energy into hunting down possibilities for expansion in the most banal and insignificant events. Everything is an instrument in their hands, and with this enlarged notion of opportunity, they create more of it in their lives and gain great power.

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Keys to Fearlessness
The power of opportunism is open to each and every one of us if we put into practice which 4 principles of the art?

-Make the most of what you have
-Turn all obstacles into openings
-Look for turning points
-Move before you are ready

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-Make the most of what you have
Most of us are like Selkirk when he first found himself stranded - we look at our material resources and wish we had more. But a different possibility exists for us as well - the realization that more resources are not necessarily coming from the outside and that we must use what we already have to better effect. What we have in hand could be research material for a particular book, or people who work within our organization. If we look for more - information, outside people to help us - it won't necessarily lead to anything better; if anything, how does it hinder us?

In fact the waiting and the dependence makes us less creative. When we go to work with what is there, we find new ways to employ this material. We solve problems, develop skills we can use again and again, and build up our confidence. If we become wealthy and dependent on money and technology, our minds atrophy and that wealth will not last.

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-Turn all obstacles into openings
An opportunist in life sees all hindrances as instruments for power. The reason is simple: negative energy that comes at you in some form is energy that can be turned around - to defeat an opponent and lift you up. When there is no such energy, there is nothing to react or push against; it is harder to motivate yourself. Enemies that hit you have opened themselves up to a counterattack in which you control the timing and the dynamic. If bad publicity comes your way, think of it as a form of negative attention that you can easily reframe for your purposes. You can seem contrite or rebellious, whatever will stir up your base. If you ignore it, you look guilty. If you fight it, you seem defensive. If you go with it and channel it in your direction, you have turned it into an opportunity for positive attention. What's the general lesson?

In general, obstacles force your mind to focus and find ways around them. They heighten your mental powers and should be welcomed.

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-Look for turning points
Opportunities exist in any field of tension - heated competition, anxiety, chaotic situations. Something important is going on and if you are able to determine the underlying cause, you can create for yourself a powerful opportunity. What should you look for when looking for turning points? 1/4

Look for any sudden success or failure in the business world that people find hard to explain. These are often indications of shifts going on under the surface; perhaps someone has inadvertently hit upon a new model for doing things and you must analyze this.

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-Look for turning points
Opportunities exist in any field of tension - heated competition, anxiety, chaotic situations. Something important is going on and if you are able to determine the underlying cause, you can create for yourself a powerful opportunity. What should you look for when looking for turning points? 2/4

Examine the greatest anxieties of those on the inside of any business or industry. Deep changes going on usually register as fear to those who do not know how to deal with them. You can be the first to exploit such changes for positive purposes.

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-Look for turning points
Opportunities exist in any field of tension - heated competition, anxiety, chaotic situations. Something important is going on and if you are able to determine the underlying cause, you can create for yourself a powerful opportunity. What should you look for when looking for turning points? 3/4

Keep your eye out for any kind of shifts in tastes or values. People in the media or the establishment will often rail against these changes, seeing them as signs of moral decline and chaos. People fear the new. You can turn this into an opportunity by being the first to give some meaning to this apparent disorder, establishing it as a positive value. You are not looking for fads, but deep-rooted changes in people's tastes.

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-Look for turning points
Opportunities exist in any field of tension - heated competition, anxiety, chaotic situations. Something important is going on and if you are able to determine the underlying cause, you can create for yourself a powerful opportunity. What should you look for when looking for turning points? 4/4

One opportunity you can always bank on is that a younger generation will react against the sacred cows of the older generation. If the older set valued spontaneity and pleasure, you can be sure that the younger will crave order and orthodoxy. By attracting the values of the older generation before anyone else, you can gain powerful attention.

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-Move before you are ready
Most people wait too long to go into action, generally out of fear. They want more money or better circumstances. Why must you go the opposite direction and move before you think you are ready?

It is as if you are making it a little more difficult for yourself, deliberately creating obstacles in your path. But it is a law of power that your energy will always rise to the appropriate level. When you feel that you must work harder to get to your goal because you are not quite prepared, you are more alert and inventive. This venture has to succeed and so it will.

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-Move before you are ready
Remember: as Napoleon said, the moral is to the physical as three to one. What did he mean by that?

It means that the motivation and energy levels you or your army bring to the encounter have three times as much weight as your physical resources. With energy and high morale, a human can overcome almost any obstacle and create opportunity out of nothing.

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Reversal
In modern usage, "opportunist" is generally a derogatory term that refers to people who will do anything for themselves. They have no core values beyond promoting their own needs. They contribute nothing to society. However, how is this a misreading of the phenomenon which actually stems from an age-old elitism that wants to see opportunities kept as privileges for a powerful few?

Those from the bottom who dare to promote themselves in any way are seen as Machiavellian, while those already on the top who practice the same strategies are merely smart and resourceful. Such judgments are a reflection of fear.

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Reversal
In modern usage, "opportunist" is generally a derogatory term. The truth, however, is that Opportunism comes with a belief system that is eminently positive and powerful - one known to the Stoic philosophers of ancient Rome as amor fati, or love of fate. In this philosophy every event is seen as fated to occur. Explain.

When you complain and rail against circumstances, you fall out of balance with the neutral state of things; you wish things were different. What you must do instead is accept the fact that all events occur for a reason, and that it is within your capacity to see this reason as positive. Marcus Aurelius compared this to a fire that consumes everything in its path - all circumstances become consumed in your mental heat and converted into opportunities. A man or woman who believes this cannot be hurt by anything or anyone.